Stakeholders and experts are very clear that the NDP government has been inflating the amount of protected old-growth. So how do they do it? Three main ways:
There is currently far more low-productivity, economically “unloggable” old-growth than productive old-growth remaining in southwest BC. Low-productivity old-growth includes stunted trees with slow growth rates that can be found in sub-alpine areas and bogs. Low-productivity old-growth has little to no commercial value and is not endangered, but the government conveniently does not distinguish between these forests and high-productivity old-growth when calculating how much old-growth is protected on the coast.
The government also tends to exclude private lands from their calculations of how much old-growth remains, despite the fact that the provincial government allowed tens of thousands of hectares of old-growth to be logged when those private lands were still under provincial management.
Finally, the government fails to account for the vast amount of productive old-growth forest has been logged since European colonization, instead focusing only on a proportion of what's remaining when describing how much is protected from logging.
All of this data manipulation makes it look like far more old growth exists and is being actively protected than really is, and it is grossly misleading to British Columbians who trust their government to be transparent stewards of this public resource.